In conversation with the spirited founder of The Melium Group, Dato’ Farah Khan, we discover the amalgamation of factors that contributed to its 25 years of phenomenal success.


(Photography KK Chai from Yipieyaya Studio)

It is hard to talk about The Melium Group without somehow mentioning its founder’s name in the same breath. After all, the glamorous empress of fashion Dato' Farah Khan is the unstoppable force behind The Melium Group’s multiple successes throughout its years of existence.

Under her visionary leadership, the company has evolved from a one-brand distributor to a leading luxury lifestyle powerhouse that chalks up more than 100 brands to its name. The dynamic lady is the unquestionable spirit of the entire corporation and its forward-thinking commander-in-chief.

This year, The Melium Group marks another milestone by celebrating its 25th anniversary as a renowned go-to lifestyle purveyor for the stylish and the affluent.

A quarter of a century is a very long time; a lot of things could happen. Fashion trends come and go. Economic crises could strike many businesses out of the race. Stiff competition in a niche market can lead to many enterprising ventures throwing in the towel when things get tough.  It goes without saying that Dato’ Farah ticks off all the right boxes as a world-class entrepreneur as it takes a truly great business leader to be able to steer a business through tumultuous challenges and to cultivate foresight in anticipating change when the situation calls for it—without compromising on the company’s core values and foundations.

Being a businesswoman runs in her blood. Growing up with enterprising parents who exposed her to global cultures in their line of work, Dato’ Farah cultivated her fashionable sensitivities from a young age. From observing her mother’s affinity for high-end fashion and gleaning knowledge from her father’s European associates in his diamond business, these life lessons would eventually pave the way for her to set up her dream business when she obtained the distribution rights to Hugo Boss, a German luxury brand.

Prior to starting the Melium Group, she opened a multi-label store called The Link in 1976 before initiating Le Salon in 1988. “I’m a Cancerian and I love things that are beautiful. I have always used fashion as an expression of myself. I love all aspects of fashion and the thing that makes me most excited is the ability to create!” enthuses Dato’ Farah on how she retains the love she has for what she does.

Today, the glittering list of international luxury labels that have entrusted their brands’ distribution to the team at The Melium Group testifies to the company’s standing as the indisputable leading arbiter of taste, style and luxury. Aside from Hugo Boss, The Melium Group is also now responsible for in-demand brands like Tod’s, Emilio Pucci, Givenchy, Saint Laurent, Stuart Weitzman, Aigner, Cole Haan and Hackett London in KL, among others.

Over time, Dato’ Farah also noticed that Malaysian consumers are becoming more sophisticated and savvy in their shopping habits. She realised that the time was nigh to introduce mixed-brand stores selling niche brands for those who enjoy accumulating a diverse wardrobe. This paved the way for the establishment of Aseana and the M Store respectively over the span of a few years, at Suria KLCC and Pavilion KL.

Taking another leap of faith, she also started an eponymous fashion label—which has been worn by international stars such as Kimora Lee Simmons, Teri Hatcher, Giuliana Rancic and Selena Gomez on the red carpet. Known for its hand-stitched and embellished creations, the Farah Khan label also boasts a standalone store in Suria KLCC and one more in W Bali and Plaza Indonesia, Jakarta.

This year, The Melium Group ups the ante even further as it recently launched luxury leather goods maker MCM, to great success.

 

To read the full story of Dato' Farah Khan's success, get a copy of Malaysia Tatler September 2014 issue, available on newsstands now or click here to purchase the digital version.